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Michael Bay is gearing up for a sci-fi adventure that doesn’t involve aliens that morph into cars. According to a new report, he’s attached to direct Time Salvager, based on the upcoming novel by Wesley Chu. As you might’ve guessed from the title, it centers on a time traveler. Read all about the Michael Bay Time Salvager deal after the jump. 

Publishers Weekly (via Movies.com) and TheWrap report Paramount has optioned Chu’s Time Salvager for Bay to direct, and for Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian to produce. Tor.com adds that Chu will additionally serve as executive producer. It’s a lot of excitement surrounding a book that hasn’t even come out yet — Time Salvager hits shelves July 7.

Time Salvager follows James, a “chronman” in the distant future whose job is to steal resources from Earth’s past without changing the timeline. Near the end of his career, James breaks the cardinal rule by rescuing a woman from an earlier century who is fated to die. His decision to bring her back into the future with him turns them both into fugitives.

Although Bay has a lot of experience directing sci-fi, thanks to ArmageddonThe Island, and all of those Transformers movies, time travel is novel territory for him. Bay is currently shooting his Benghazi drama, 13 Hours, and may or may not shoot Transformers 5 after that. The latter is due out in 2017, so if Bay is back, he may not be able to get around to Time Salvager for a little while yet.

Here’s the full synopsis of the book:

Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one’s hero. In his century, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity’s demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history.

James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth’s past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing the use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking point, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his.

On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen’s highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity’s home world.

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